Friday, August 13, 2010

Toddler Tantrums

His back arches.  He twists his arms seemingly out of their sockets while simultaneously becoming dead weight in my arms.  He flings himself to the floor in a mess of sobs and incoherent babbles of frustration.  Over tiny things:  Going inside.  Taking the kleenex he grabs away.  Strapping him into the car.  Removing him from the couch when he tries to run across it. 

I didn't think that would be us.  What happened to our mellow boy?  I thought I had a handle on him.

I know, from working with families and parents, that it is normal.  That kids do this.  That at some point they grow out of flopping on the floor crying and screaming.  (Please tell me that he'll grow out of it).  But it shakes this perfect ideal I had in my head, that somehow I would be the parent who walks the line between independence and protection.  I wanted to be a discipline master in the zen zone of firm yet loving.

Naturally my progeny would know instinctively when I meant business.  I wasn't so delusional that they wouldn't push boundaries but they would know that I was the ultimate authority and that I did it with love and worry for their safety.

But parenting in my head is so much different than reality. 


Yeah.  I know.

Baby goat and I went on a playdate today.  We were at Choo Choo Bob's playing with half of St. Paul's toddlers and moms trying to escape the dreary weather.  There I witnessed hitting, tantrums, grabbing toys, crying, stomping, running away, and plenty of "Mine!."  I witnessed time outs and quick escapes and shameful parent apologies.

But baby goat?  He played joyfully.  He shared toys.  He got hit more than once and seemed completely unfazed.  He came when called.  He didn't touch when I asked him not too.  He smiled and played and left quietly when it was time.

Who knows which child you get when?  It could have easily been him, but something must be going right with this toddler of mine.
It must be daycare.


Jeni said...

Oh the tantrums. When you get the stink eye from another parent in the midst of your child melting down, and you will, know that EVERYONE has been there. Even that judgy parent. If there is a parent out there who has been wholly immune to the toddler tantrum I have yet to meet them. The different levels of tantrum do get better, but really in my experience you just trade one thing for the next. Good luck, you will regain your handle I am sure.

Kellyn said...

The tantrums are the worst! Boo never threw them, but boy did Hunter! It was awful! The tantrums get better, he will learn the best way to handle his frustration, this is just what he knows right now.

Stacey said...

Oh how I remember Abby's tantrums. They were few and far between, but when they came - look out. It helped knowing that EVERY parent goes through it. I even captured a few really good ones on camera - like the time she threw herself onto the floor at Target kicking and crying. Good luck, and keep a sense of humor about it.

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DaisyGal said...

LOL..."must be daycare"..that made me giggle.

I wish I could blame it, but I know it's all internal and it's all just being 2 right now.

I can only hope (like you) that they grow out of it, that the drama of Every.single. little.thing. stops and I get my kiddos back, I'm trying to be as patient as they are.

I also think it has nothing to do with us as parents, we're GOOD's just them exploring and pushing their own world.

GOOD LUCK, I need enough of my own ;)